A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter begins with reflections on the musical “event,” as primary attraction to early film viewers, and potential destabilizer of narrative aims. This is followed by a brief overview of music in 1930s Shanghai, with the rehabilitation of popular music in a time of occupation. The marriage metaphor is used to engage dilemmas that Chinese cinemas faced in using music, sound, and images. When uniting distinct expressive registers—as storytelling waxes musical and music comes to a narrative function—integration becomes key. Integration seeks a mosaic of story, setting, and musical performance, yielding a perfect blend of camera, movement, and song. Yet integration has different meanings and functions. When a film offers songs or musical sequences that disregard “the integrated ideal,” it is seen as lacking. Songs may have their own inclinations, distinct from—but not necessarily in conflict with—the dramatic goals of the film itself. The chapter concludes with some brief examples of musical moments in contemporary Taiwan films.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas
EditorsCarlos ROJAS
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter23
Pages438-451
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780199765607
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Fingerprint

Movies
Marriage
Music
Song
Shanghai
Blends
Popular music
Attraction
Expressive
Musical Performance
Taiwan
Storytelling
Inclination
Ideal
Sound
Cinema
Viewer
1930s
Wax
Rehabilitation

Cite this

DAVIS, D. W. (2013). A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies. In C. ROJAS (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas (pp. 438-451). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0024
DAVIS, Darrell William. / A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies. The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas. editor / Carlos ROJAS. Oxford University Press, 2013. pp. 438-451
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DAVIS, DW 2013, A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies. in C ROJAS (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas. Oxford University Press, pp. 438-451. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0024

A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies. / DAVIS, Darrell William.

The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas. ed. / Carlos ROJAS. Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 438-451.

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

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DAVIS DW. A Marriage of Convenience: Musical Moments in Chinese Movies. In ROJAS C, editor, The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas. Oxford University Press. 2013. p. 438-451 https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765607.013.0024